Crunchyroll Adds the Kyo Kara Maoh! Anime

Crunchyroll has announced that it has added the first and second “seasons” (episodes 1-78) of the Kyo kara Maoh! anime for users in the United States and Canada, with both English subtitles and Japanese audio as well as the English dub.

The anime premiered in 2004 as an adaptation of Tomo Takabayashi’s light novel series. The anime was followed by a five-episode OVA sequel, Kyo kara Maoh! R, and the 39-episode Kyo kara Maoh! 3rd Series television anime.

Source: ANN

Anime Expo Announces Utako Yukihiro as Guest

Anime Expo has announced that Utako Yukihiro will be a guest at their upcoming convention.

Yukihiro is the artist of the Devils and Realist manga. She is also the artist for the Uta no Prince-sama manga, and drew the original character designs for the B-PROJECT franchise. Yukihiro also provided the original character designs for the BONJOUR Sweet Love Patisserie anime.

Anime Expo will be taking place July 4-7, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

Source: ANN

VIZ Media Brings the Powerhouse Action of One-Punch Man to Licensing Expo 2019

VIZ Media showcases one of pop culture’s hottest brands as it highlights One-Punch Man at Licensing Expo 2019.

Season 2 of the anime series just launched on HULU with new simulcast episodes streaming weekly on the same day as the Japanese TV broadcast premiere. VIZ Media is the master licensor for One-Punch Man and holds digital streaming, TV broadcast, EST, home media and consumer product/merchandising rights for the property for the territories of North America, Latin America and Oceania.

New One-Punch Man licensing partners include:

  • BAIT: streetwear apparel collection
  • Fanwraps: decals and stickers
  • Funko: “POP!” and “Vinyl” figure collections
  • Great Eastern: novelty accessories and collectibles
  • In4Mation: streetwear apparel collection
  • Issac Morris Limited: apparel and accessories
  • Just Funky: drinkware and accessories
  • The Loyal Subjects: “Action Vinyls” collection
  • McFarlane Toys: ultra-articulated action figures
  • Monogram: key rings and pins
  • Pyramid: posters and stationery
  • Sprayground: backpacks

Come visit VIZ Media at booth R202 at the Licensing Expo to learn more about the franchise that’s celebrated by anime, action, superhero and comedy fans alike.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection Two

One Piece Collection Two packages the One Piece Season One Third Voyage and the One Piece Season One Fourth Voyage releases together. Between the two sets, there are 27 episodes of the series included. Episodes can be watched with either the English dub or with the Japanese audio with English subtitles. It should also be noted that in addition to watching episodes or using the “Play All” option, there is also a marathon feature, which allows you to watch all the episodes on a disc back-to-back without interruption. In the marathon feature, the opening credits only plays once, there are no next episode previews, and the ending credits are not included.

One Piece Collection Two
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: September 27, 2011

The first four episodes in the set conclude the story arc that took place at the floating restaurant Baratie. However, the bulk of the episodes in this set take place in Nami’s hometown, Cocoyashi Village. This new story arc provides a lot of backstory for Nami, and you get a better understanding for why she does the things she has done leading up to this point in the series. I really like how this story arc concluded, and how much this arc really strengthened Nami as a character.

Even though I already knew what would happen in this arc from reading the One Piece manga, I still found myself moved nearly to tears by the time Nami’s backstory finished. The episodes in the first half of One Piece Collection Two tend to focus more on the dramatic side for One Piece than the episodes included on One Piece Collection One.

After this arc ends, a price of 30 million berries is placed on Luffy’s head, and he and his crew end up going to Logue Town. At the same time, Buggy the Clown and Alvida reappear in the story, and they team up together in order to find Luffy.

While in Logue Town, Zoro meets a woman named Tashigi who bears a striking resemblance to his deceased friend Kuina. Tashigi is an underling for Smoker, a naval officer stationed in Logue Town. The story in this set culminates with Luffy, Buggy the Clown and his crew, Alvida and her crew, and Smoker and his crew converging at the platform where Gol D. Roger had been executed.

Since I’ve already read this portion of the story in the manga, I already knew what to expect. I also realized that there was some filler thrown into the anime for the Logue Town arc. The first one is “Little Buggy’s Big Adventure,” which is an episode showing how Buggy ultimately teamed up with Alvida. The only way this story was actually included in the original One Piece manga was through various one page title pages at the beginning of manga chapters. For the anime, it appears they used these title pages as a basis for events to take place in the episode and built a story around them.

The events in the episode “Usopp vs. Daddy the Parent! Showdown at High!” didn’t appear at all at this point in the manga, and most of the episode “Fiery Cooking Battle? Sanji vs. the Beautiful Chef!” is also not in the manga. The story about Usopp adds some information about Usopp’s father, and this background information on Yasopp was interesting for me as a viewer. However, I thought the cooking competition between Sanji and the beautiful, yet freaky chef really didn’t add much to the story.

When it comes to bonus features, there are “Textless Songs” and “Trailers” included on the second and fourth discs of the set. Staff commentary can be found on the first and third discs.

If you’re a One Piece fan who wants to own the series on home video, but don’t want to spend the time and money to track down each individual set that’s been released, these Collection sets are a good way to go.

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories Anime to Get Seventh Season in Summer 2019

It has been announced that the Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories television anime series is getting a seventh season that will premiere in July 2019.

Kenichi Sugimoto of DRAWIZ is returning to direct the new anime at ILCA. Scriptwriters Ayako Yamaguchi, Hiromu Kumamoto, Kuniyoshi Saki, and Mitsuhi Sasagi are also returning. The animators include Yū Ebihara, Tatsuya Morino, Yukio Kanesada, Yoroshi Aka, Seiya Yamaguchi, Atsushi Itou, and Saya Kanamura. IANDA and DRAWIS are credited for production assistance. The artist betcover!! performs the ending theme song “Kekkai” (Barrier).

Kanji Tsuda returns to play the storyteller. The show’s other cast members include: Ryota Murai, Shunsaku Yoshimura, Ryō Shinoda, Nobuhiko Ōakami, Masaki Sawai, Rimo Hasegawa, Sena Horikoshi, Hikaru Kotama, Yūki Nishinoya, Ayaka Ōta, Kumi Nakamura, Sae Izumi, Sachiko Nakagomi, Kazuo Andō, and Virtual YouTuber character Taku Nanase.

Source: ANN

Spring 2019 Anime Season: Week 7

Case Closed is not included in this week’s write-up, because there wasn’t a new episode available to watch on Crunchyroll this week.

Fruits Basket: Episode 7 – “Spring Comes”

Tohru is summoned to the main Soma estate by Hatori, but she is told not to say anything to Shigure, Yuki, or Kyo. After Yuki’s warning about Hatori in the previous episode, there was this sense of foreboding about Tohru meeting with him. Momiji is there as well, and when Hatori takes care of something, Momiji tells Tohru some of Hatori’s backstory. We get the rest filled in later through a flashback sequence that Hatori has. Hatori is one of the Somas afflicted with the zodiac curse, and his zodiac transformation is quite amusing. It’s especially amusing how Tohru reacts to it.

This was a story I always liked in both the manga and the original Fruits Basket anime, and I think this reboot did a fantastic job with it. I really appreciate the character growth that Hatori goes through over the course of it, and it becomes clear that he’s not the mean and distant character that Yuki tried to make him seem to be. Then again, I don’t know how much of the backstory Yuki knows… all he knows is that Hatori wiped the memories of some kids that Yuki played with when he was younger because they accidentally learned his secret. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that the interactions between Shigure and Hatori are also great.

In the ending credits, where we get to see some of Somas in their animal form, a shot has been added to include Hatori’s zodiac transformation. I thought this was a nice touch.

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2: Episode 4 – “Perfect Game”

This episode sees a focus on both battle fronts. On one front, the Colossal Titan is setting fire to buildings and throwing them about at Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Conny, and Sasha. On the other front, the Beast Titan is crushing boulders and throwing the pieces toward Erwin, Levi, and the new recruits. Armin just can’t come up with any ideas on how to continue and tries to turn command over to Jean. While Jean can read the situation and get the group to more of a safe spot, he also doesn’t have any ideas on how to proceed. In the end, this group tries to do the best it can, but it ultimately ends with Eren (in Titan form) flung up to the top of the wall.

With Erwin, Levi, and the recruits, they come to realize that they’re trapped between a rock and a hard place. They can’t retreat to the other side of the wall because of all the chaos the Colossal Titan is creating, and they can’t move forward because of the Beast Titan. One of the recruits snaps and gives voice to the fear that the other recruits are likely feeling but are unable to express. After consulting with Levi and sharing his true feelings on what’s going to happen, Erwin and Levi launch a plan that will likely lead to the deaths of Erwin and the recruits.

The feeling of despair that runs throughout this episode is rather intense. And the scene Erwin has with Levi is heartbreaking, because we see a man who realizes he will likely die without realizing his dream of discovering whether or not he and his father were right. But, Erwin is able to channel this feeling when he makes his speech to rally the recruits into action. Erwin’s speech is very convincing, and his voice actor perfectly channels the intensity and power of the words of the speech. It’s believable that this would rally the recruits to perform a suicide mission.

The episode ends on a major cliffhanger, and for those viewers who don’t know the story from the manga, will be waiting anxiously for a week in order to find out what happens next.

Voice Actress Saki Ogasawara Takes Hiatus to Undergo Medical Treatment

Voice actress Saki Ogasawara has announced on Twitter that she was diagnosed with stage 1 tongue cancer in early April 2019. She stated that she will go on hiatus from her voice acting activities while she has surgery and undergoes treatment.

Ogasawara added that because the cancer was luckily detected at an early stage, she will devote herself to her treatment so that she can send out her voice to her fans again as soon as possible.

Her credits include Heaven’s Memo Pad,The irregular at magic high school, My Hero Academia, Show By Rock!!, Girls und Panzer der Film, Humanity Has Declined, Dusk maiden of Amnesia, DIVE!!, and Date A Live II.

Source: ANN